Neighborhood Change

As community demographics shift and there’s neighborhood change, what are the issues affecting longstanding and new residents alike? When is change desirable, and when is it undesirable, and how can it be turned to the benefit of those who need it most?

A Jazz in the Garden session at Clayton Williams Community Garden in Harlem.

Hanging on to the Land

Community gardens and urban agriculture are crucial gathering places—and revitalizing forces—in neighborhoods with lots of vacancy and low values. But what happens to them when the market turns around?

Revitalizing Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine (Series Conclusion – Making It Green)

This is the final installment of my miniseries (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3) about Cincinnati’s remarkable Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, potentially a national model...

It’s Not Either/Or: Neighborhood Improvement Can Prevent Gentrification

Even where gentrification is only a distant threat (or hope, depending on your perspective) it looms large in any discussion of neighborhood change.
mural artist

Arts Build Community

CDCs now recognize that art and cultural activities can be useful tools toward building a community's identity, meaning, and spirit. But bank regulators have not yet reached a sufficient level of comfort with this new strategy.
homeless camp under bridge

Shelter Shorts—The Week in Community Development, May 4

A Trauma-Centered Approach to Youth Violence in Cleveland | We May Know Who Benefits From Port Covington | What Housing Crisis? | Clearing Homeless Encampments in Philadelphia | Restaurant Tax for Affordable Housing

How Artists Helped a Housing Organization Adapt to Demographic Change

An in-depth look at the lessons one housing organization learned after receiving a multimillion grant to integrate arts and culture strategies in its work. Has the organization changed the way it operates?
A female dentist cleans a young boy's teeth.

The Place-Based Charter School?

What is the relationship between charter schools and neighborhoods—and what could it be?

Revitalization With Palm Trees

The trendiest neighborhood in West Palm Beach is Northwood, a collection of historic districts, fading industrial areas, and blocks of small bungalows and grand...

Who Is a Gentrifier, and What Should They Do?

As people with choices move back into (some) urban areas that were abandoned/systematically disinvested from decades ago, gentrification is...

A Community Planning Process–Even A Good One–Is Not Enough

Just the inherent language of community “transformation” signals that what has come before is not worth holding on to, and renders the history of these public housing sites insignificant.

How to Fight Vacancy? Do It All

The fight against vacancy in Youngstown, Ohio, shows us that we shouldn’t rely on a single strategy—everything is needed at once.

Core and Periphery: “Trading Places”?

In a cover story for the latest issue of The New Republic, Governing Magazine editor Alan Ehrenhalt proclaims that the American city has reinvented...

Gentrification in Brooklyn the Result of Plans, Not Markets

Doug Henwood, editor/publisher of Left Business Observer, has an interesting piece in the Nation this week that argues that gentrification and displacement in New...

Conflict and Placemaking in Humboldt Park: La Crucifixion

It took 10 years, but a local Chicago activist managed to save a mural that portrays Pedro Albizu Campos, the leader of the movement for Puerto Rican independence.
"Coming Soon, Very Sad" painted on border wall outside of new development.

We Are All NIMBYs…Sometimes

If we built enough housing, we would still need subsidized housing for many people, but market prices would be low enough that most people could afford them. But we’ve chosen not to. And the reason we give for that choice, more than any other, is that we are trying to preserve or improve the character of our communities.
sign defining "gentrification"

It Doesn’t Matter if Your Neighborhood Is Going to Eventually Gentrify

“We could use some gentrification here.” Let's never say this—we must refrain from debating the long-term likelihood of gentrification in distressed places.

Inside Gentrification: The Emotional, Physical, and Financial Implications

The following is a condensed conversation between practitioners and thinkers about gentrification sparked from a blog post about neighborhood revitalization on Rooflines. With so...

Gary Never Forgot: A Suffering Steel Town Clings to Jackson Legacy

The eyes of the world were focused on Gary, Indiana, in the days following Michael Jackson’s June 25 death. People marveled at the tiny...

An Urban School Reduces Violence . . . With Nonviolence

When students feel like they are in jail when at school and the adults around them consider them all potential...

Seattle Neighborhood Planning

At first glance, the Neighborhood Planning Program in Seattle, Washington, sounds like a remarkably progressive idea. Begun in 1995, the program is one of...